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'Govt. frightened of certain defeat is engaged in deplorable election campaign'

Dec 10 (LT) The government that has been frightened of the certain defeat it would be subjected to is violating election regulations unashamedly says JVP Parliamentarian Anura Dissanayake. He said, “The government is carrying out its campaign obstructing the right of others to express their views. Their task has become mudslinging at other political parties using the media. more..

The war of the protagonists: the losers and the winners

Dec 10 (LG) It is the Tamils and their aspirations the common enemy that kept the diverse Sinhala political system going. They constantly bickered on the question of how much less the Tamils should be given. With the Tamil question out the Sinhala polity would be dead. With their chief antagonist the LTTE eliminated, Sinhala political factions have turned on each other symbolized in the presidential contest. more..

For Tamils, it's a choice between devil and deep sea

Dec 10 (DNA) With a sizeable population and the tendency to vote en bloc, the Tamils can make or mar political fortunes in Sri Lanka. This truism in mind, politicians from the island nation have been busy wooing India aggressively in the run-up to the presidential polls in late January. After combined opposition nominee Sarath Foneska made a trip to New Delhi and made politically correct statements recently, it's the turn of more..

China makes economic inroads into Sri Lanka

Dec 10 (TI) It is clearly not a case of Chinese Whisper anymore. The Finance Ministry has raised a red flag over “overwhelming” economic control China now exercises over Sri Lanka. In a report to the mandarins of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) sent recently, the Finance Ministry has “warned that if timely steps were not taken, it would create an untenable situation for the country.” more..

Fortis in talks to buy Lanka hospital chain

Dec 10 (BS) Fortis Healthcare, a hospital chain promoted by former Ranbaxy owners Malvinder Mohan Singh and Shivinder Mohan Singh, is close to a major acquisition overseas. The move comes within months of the company acquiring 10 hospitals belonging to Habil Khorakiwala-promoted Wockhardt Hospitals. Fortis Healthcare was in advanced discussions to acquire three hospitals belonging to the Asiri Group of Hospitals, Sri Lanka’s largest private health care provider, more..

USA in Sri Lanka

Dec 10 (LG) It’s a real pleasure for me to be back in Sri Lanka and to see many friends and colleagues. I’d like to begin with a brief statement and then I’d be happy to take some questions. It’s been over six months since I left Sri Lanka as Ambassador and began my duties in Washington as Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs. I left Sri Lanka only days after Government forces captured the last remaining territory held by the LTTE. more..

Lanka violating Kachativu pact: Karunanidhi

Dec 10 (AT) Sri Lanka is violating provisions of the agreement with India under which the uninhabited Kachativu islet in the Palk Strait was ceded to it in 1974, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi charged on Wednesday. Reacting to Indian Foreign Minister S M Krishna's statement in Parliament that the Kachativu issue is a closed chapter, Mr Karunanidhi said 'maybe so, but Sri Lanka is violating even the provisions agreed upon between the two countries". more..

Full "investigation" after STF involvement in abduction of Policeman

Dec 10 (DBS) "Dutu"Mervyn Silva masterminded abduction of Wattala businessman Nishantha Ratnayake & three others including a Police officer at Rajagiriya. Ratnayake had refused to dole out the "Kappang" money extracted by Mervyn and his extortioner gang headed earlier by Kudu Lal now abroad. Ratnayake a tea exporter had been paying two lakhs rupees per month as "Kappang" but more..

President Rajapaksa pays homage to Madhu Church after three decades

Dec 10 (IL) President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited the Madhu Church in Mannar and breaks the three decades absence of the Head of Sri Lankan State to the Catholic Holy Shrine on 9th December 2009. He paid homage to the Madhu Matha on his way back to Colombo after unveiling the victory monument for the valiant war heroes in Nandikadal lagoon at Pudumathalan. more..

President Rajapaksa visits Chettikulam IDP welfare centres

Dec 10 (IL) During his official visit to the northern region on 9th December, President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited the IDP welfare centres in Chettikulam. President met internally displaced people those who were temporally accommodated in Chettikulam and inspected the welfare of the inmates. He also instructed the officials to provide all facilities they needed without fail. more..

Free movement of Tamil detainees—a cynical election ploy

Dec 10 (wsws) After detaining more than a quarter of a million Tamil civilians for months, the Sri Lankan government has allowed restricted free movement for the detainees from December 1 and announced the closure of the huge detention centres from January 31. The announcement is a cynical election ploy by President Mahinda Rajapakse aimed at deflecting criticism and anger over his policy of arbitrary internment in open breach of the island’s constitution and legal system. more..

SEP public meeting to launch presidential campaign

Dec 10 (wsws) The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) is holding a public meeting on December 12 in Colombo to launch its campaign for the January 26 presidential elections. Its candidate will be Wije Dias, SEP General Secretary and a member of the WSWS International Editorial Board. President Mahinda Rajapakse called this election early in a desperate attempt to capitalise on the defeat of the LTTE. more..

'Govt. stopped Sarath Fonseka's attempt to import arms through relatives'

Dec 10 (GDI) Information has surfaced as to how Sarath Fonseka used his relatives to get down weapons while he was serving as the Army Commander. In Parliament yesterday, Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said the Defence Secretary was able to prevent attempts made to import unnecessary weapons after the war ended. Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said according to an article posted in Asian Tribune, Danuna Tilakaratne had told more..

'Only President protects rights of war heroes'

Dec 10 (GDI) The war hero executed his responsibilities accordance with his professional rights. Defence Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa observed that Mahinda Rajapaksa was the only President who safeguarded the rights of war heroes. The Defence Secretary said the Government’s main concern was the welfare of war heroes. It did not wait until the war ended to solve the problems of the war heroes, the defence secretary noted. more..

'Sarath Fonseka fulfilling Prabakaran's wish'

Dec 10 (GDI) Ven Ellwala Medhananda Thero of the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) warned a short while ago at the media briefing now in progress at the Mahaweli Centre, Colombo that Gen.Sarath who said he (Fonseka) would go beyond the 13th amendment to find a solution to the ethnic crisis was indirectly attempting to grant a separate state, the dream and wish of slain Tiger leader Velupillai Prabakaran. more..

Fonseka pledges gender equality in politics

Dec 10 (LNP) Common Opposition candidate General Sarath Fonseka yesterday promised to maintain gender equality in politics and other fields and to build a better household economy by reducing the cost of living. General Fonseka made this point at a gathering of UNP s women s wing Lakwanitha and JVP women s wing at the Jayawardene Centre yesterday. He said, he fully understood the issues faced by the Sri Lankan women. more..

Opposition candidate preaching separatist ideology - Transport Minister

Dec 10 (GDI) Minister of Transport, Dallas Alahapperuma stated that none could halt the inevitable victory of President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the forthcoming election. Sri Lankans will always remember the great service rendered by the President towards the betterment of the country. Under the present regime public sector was strengthened. More than 1.2 million employees have been recruited to the public service,the minister observed. more..

Supplementary crops development accelerated - Dharmadasa Banda

Dec 10 (GDI) The Ministry of Supplementary Crops Plantation Development looks forward to alleviate poverty and contribute to build up the village through the projects of sugarcane, cashew nut and palmyrah plantation which grow well in dry zone in the country. “Except rice, all the other plantations can be regarded as supplementary plantations” said Minister R.M Dharmadasa Banda more..

The relevance of Human Rights – A Lankan perspective

Dec 10 (GV) One important indicator of Human Rights protection in modern society is successful enforcement of the rule of law. Human Rights activism in Lanka came about as a response to special challenges arising from progressive deterioration of the rule of law. The law is technical in its workings. Good laws and good law enforcement advance human rights, and their opposites lead to conflict and crisis. more..

"Dot for Democracy and Birth for Dictatorship" should be slogan of Sarath Fonseka - Anura Yapa

Dec 10 (GDI) Media and Information Minister, Anura Priyadjarshana Yapa addressing media personnel at the weekly cabinet briefing said that the entry of retired Gen.Sarath Fonseka into the presidential fray backed by the UNP was a move to put a dot to democracy and birth for dictatorship in the country where democracy shone bright under the Presidency of incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Child soldier surrendees rehabilitation expedited

Dec 10 (MoD) The Justice and Law Reforms Ministry has taken the initiative to expedite the rehabilitation program of LTTE cadres who surrendered to the Armed Forces. After liberating the country from terrorism, around 11,000 LTTE carders including child soldiers have surrendered to the Security Forces. The Ministry has made arrangements to integrate these ex LTTE carders to the society while rehabilitating them. more..

A cooperative and a health service centre for the Kiranchi village

Dec 10 (MoD) Arrangements are afoot to open up a divisional health service centre to meet the health needs of the people in the village of Kiranchi. The process of resettling people in the village of Kiranchi in the Poonagary Divisional Secretariat area has commenced. At the request made by the people of this village, when the Hon.Governor visited them to look into their welfare and needs, for a health centre, more..

One laptop per child launches today

Dec 10 (LP) The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Lanka Foundation is pleased to announce the official launch of the OLPC Laptop Project is held with the participation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa today. Officials of the World Bank, Corporate Sponsors, NGOs and other funding organizations are expected to attend including over 400 primary school children who will be receiving a laptop personally from the president himself. more..

Repairing SL-US Relations: The Senate foreign relations committee report

Dec 10 (LP) As a citizen of Sri Lanka and a political scientist by vocation, hardly a day passes when I do not envy the American people for the high intelligence of their political leadership and policy elites, the capacity for self-correction ensured by the functioning of their democratic political institutions, and the transparent, accountable, democratic and participatory character of their civic culture. more..

Sarath Fonseka contradicts his own statements - Prof.GL Peiris

Dec 10 (GDI) Minister GL Peiris claimed that opposition candidate Sarath Fonseka contradicted his own statements within two weeks of his dream to be the next president. Analysing Fonseka's statements, Prof.Peiris said that intially Fonseka claimed he (Fonseka) was contesting the presidency to abolish it and ten days later had said he would not be just a titular president of the country. more..

Wild life Department to conduct census on leopards

Dec 10 (LP) The Department of Wildlife in Sri Lanka is to conduct a census of leopards that are in the sanctuaries and other wildlife parks in the island. A census was conducted several years ago where the number of leopards were recorded between 800 to 900. This census was not conducted in the wildlife parks in the Northern and Eastern Provinces. Leopards are found in Wilpattu, Yala, Wasgomuwa and Horton Plains sanctuaries. more..

100 days in hard labour and counting: The plight of J.S. Tissainayagam

Dec 10 (GV) Today is Human Rights Day, which honours the UN’s adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) on 10 December 1948, the first global enunciation of human rights. Today is also the one hundredth day Tamil journalist J.S. Tissanaiyagam will spend imprisoned doing hard labour. He has already spent over six hundred days in prison. more..

US report draws attention to expelled Muslims

Dec 10 (PSM) The United States Senate Report on Sri Lanka released this week draws attention to the forgotten plight of the Northern Muslims expelled 20 years ago by the LTTE. It also highlights that unless issues arising during resettlement in tracing land and properties back to original land owners are resolved, complications can hinder the repatriation process. The paragraph highlighting the plight of Northern Muslims in more..

Thug attacks on JVP members engaged in election campaign

Dec 10 (LT) Members of the JVP who were engaged in propaganda campaign of the common candidate Gen. Sarath Fonseka have been attacked at several places yesterday night and today morning states the media unit of the JVP. A group of JVP supporters and members engaged in the election campaign at a place between Maradana police station and the flyover was attacked by policemen who had arrived in several police vehicles. more..

Court orders Ceylinco Chairman to reveal whereabouts of Sicille

Dec 10 (LP) Ceylinco Chairman Lalith Kotelawala was ordered by Mount Lavinia Chief Magistrate to appear before the CID in connection with the investigation into the alleged misappropriation of Rs. 26 billion - deposited by clients - at the Golden Key Credit Card Company. The Court also ordered Mr. Kotelawala to provide information on the whereabouts of Mrs Sicille Kotelawala who is also a suspect in the case. more..

Political meeting for officers of education sector at Temple trees today

Dec 10 (LT) A political meeting for the officers in education sector would be held at Temple Trees today at 4.00 p.m. The letter directing all officers in the educational sector in the island have been sent by the Secretary to the Ministry of Education. The education officers have been instructed to take their seats at 3.00 p.m. after which Mr. Mahinda Rajapaske, the presidential candidate of the UPFA, would address the gathering. more..

A tip for Commissioner of Elections….

Dec 10 (LT) Minister Dulles Alahapperuma has violated election regulations by making 610 labour grade appointments on temporary basis states All Ceylon Railway General Employees’ Union. Measures have been taken to give the appointments under the auspices of Chairman of Railways at the auditorium of Railway Head office today (10th). According to powers conferred on the Commissioner of Elections under clause 104-iv and 104-A of the Constitution all appointments, more..

Ranil-Mangala active in a conspiracy against Sri Lanka

Dec 10 (GDI) JHU politician, Patali Champila Ranawaka today charged that Ranil Wickremesinghe and Mangala Samaraweera were actively engaged in a conspiracy against the Sri Lankan state. Minister Ranawaka said added that Ranil's statement that he could get the GSP + facility if the President was toppled was a clear evidence that Ranil conspired with certain international forces against the country. more..

Death threat to Sanath from Namal

Dec 10 (LT) Sanath Jayasuriya has been threatened with death by Namal Rajapakse after he had declined an invitation by ‘Tharunyata Hetak’ organization to appear in one of the advertisements they have launched using artistes and others as a part of the election campaign of Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse. Mr. Namal Rajapakse has invited Sanath Jayasuriya to appear in one of the advertisements. At this Sanath had said he had never directly appeared in more..

Kuruppuarachchi resigns to make way for SB in Yatinuwara

Dec 10 (LNW) The President has agreed to appoint S.B. Dissanayake as an SLFP electoral organizer of the Kandy District for him to contest the next general election from the UPFA and in order to pave the way for SB’s appointment, SLFP Yatinuwara organizer, Vincent Kuruppuarachchi has resigned from his post, sources from the SLFP headquarters said. Although SB has not been assigned any responsibilities after his cross over to the government, more..

2.6 million won t be able to vote

Dec 10 (LNP) The Elections Department yesterday dismissed claims that about 2.6 million voters would not be able to exercise their franchise at the presidential election, unless they were issued with at least a temporary identity card by the Registrar of Persons. A section of the press recently quoted Registrar of Persons A. G. Dharmadasa as saying that 2.6 million voters were without any form of identification, including the National Identity Card (NIC). more..

'Reveal the conditions of the secret pact between President and Douglas Devananda'

Dec 10 (UNP) The Jathika Bhikshu Peramuna (JBP) had vehemently insisted that the conditions in the secret pact entered into between the President Rajapakse and the EPDP leader Douglas Devananda to lend support to the President at the upcoming Presidential elections , be revealed to the people as they are steeped in extremely suspicious circumstances. The JBP chief convener, Ven. Prof. Athangane Ratnapala Thero said, more..

Mammon and accountability

Dec 10 (LNP) The UNP has asked the government to reveal assets seized from the LTTE and sought to create an impression in the public mind that the confiscated terrorist property is being siphoned off for the benefit of the powers that be. When Chief Opposition Whip Joseph Michael Perera raised a question on this issue in Parliament on Tuesday, Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake replied that all LTTE property being acquired would be used for the country`s development. more..

'General Fonseka is not a racist'

Dec 10 (DM) Key architect of the Opposition Alliance bringing in Gen. Sarath Fonseka as a Common Candidate at the next Presidential election, SLFP M Wing Leader Mangala Samaraweera expresses confidence that the UNF will bring in the necessary changes to governance. Q: SB Dissanayake, who crossed over to the govt. warns that if Gen. Fonseka won, there would be military rule in this country and be the end of democracy. more..

'SB went back to SLFP to take over the leadership when President loses'

Dec 10 (UNP) JVP MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said, according to information received by him from sources close to SB Dissanayake, the latter went back to the SLFP to take over the leadership of the party after the anticipated defeat of the President Rajapakse at the upcoming Presidential elections. As a humiliating defeat is expected for President Rajapakse, the SLFP will thereby break down with the Rajapakses losing their places in the party. more..

Wellawatte Saiva Mangaiyar Kalagam celebrates 80th anniversary

Dec 10 (DN) The Saiva Mangaiyar Kalagam is celebrating its 80th anniversary today (10) commencing at 5 p.m. at Sivanantha Centre Hall, 23, Rudra Mawatha, Wellawatte, Colombo 6. In fact, throughout the 80 years of its existence, the Saiva Mangaiyar Kalagam has been in the forefront of efforts to foster Hinduism and to promote Tamil culture among the Hindu women of Colombo. Its record of achievements is a proud one in which the society can take a legitimate pride. more..

Jeevan Thiagarajah on current IDPs

Water pirates pay Rs 56 mn in fines

Dec 10 (Island) The National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) has collected an additional income of Rs. 56 million through penalties from those who illegally tapped water, Water Supply Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said. "Most of the culprits were not from the low income families and as newspaper reports had revealed even a diplomatic mission had illegally tapped water," the Minister told more..

More than 78 percent have water supply

Dec 10 (DN) Water Supply Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said more than 78 percent of the population was enjoying safe water supply and there were a large number of projects implemented to guarantee access to the safe water supply. The Minister further stated that among the Millennium Development Goals were to ensure access to safe drinking water for 85 percent of the population by 2015 and 100 percent by 2025. more..

'Like how I won the Eelam war, I shall win the war of rescuing the country'

Dec 10 (UNP) Gen. Fonseka, the Opposition common Presidential candidate for the forthcoming Presidential elections addressing a special UNP –JVP meeting of women’s representatives at the JR Jayawardena Center yesterday, stated, in the way I won the 4th Eelam war, I will win the war of rescuing the Nation and usher in a bright future for the country. more..

Sinhala has one of the world's most creative alphabets

Dec 10 (DN) It happened in October. Unknown to the media at home and most in Sri Lanka the Sinhala language won international recognition from a group of international scholars who gathered in Seoul to make the selection. More precisely, it is the Sinhala script rather than the language itself that has been named as one of the world's 16 most creative alphabets among today's functioning languages, some of them among the oldest known to mankind. more..

Sri Lanka targets air traffic hub in Asia

Dec 10 (DN) Sri Lanka could become an air traffic hub in the Asian region with the construction of the second international airport at Mattala, Hambantota and the proposed upgrading at the Katunayake International Airport. With the dawn of peace a boom in the tourist industry is expected and passenger traffic and cargo volumes would increase, National Chamber of Sri Lanka, Shipping, Ports and Aviation Committee Chairman, Sujeiva Samaraweera told Daily News Business. more..

'Wrong decisions blocked victory'

Dec 10 (moD) Although our heroic war heroes gallantly marched forward in the battle front in the past they were unable to liberate the motherland from terrorism due to the wrong decisions taken by the politicians who ruled the country then, said President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Puthukuduyiruppu yesterday. The President was speaking after unveiling a monument to mark the victory over terrorism at Puthukuduyiruppu. more..

‘Average population growth from 1981 to 2001 is 1.2 per cent’

Dec 10 (Island) The annual average of the population growth in Sri Lanka from 1981 to 2001, has been 1.2 percent. According to the UNFPA International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) report, the Northern Province shows a higher growth rate than the national average, especially in Ampara, Vavuniya and Mullaitivu which show a percentage of 2.1, 2.2 and 2.2 respectively. more..

Presidential poll: candidates asked to reveal their assets

Dec 10 (Island) The Election Secretariat yesterday said that all candidates contesting the forthcoming presidential election should declare their assets on the day of nominations (Dec 17) or within three months. A senior spokesman for the Election Secretariat told The Island that Secretaries of political parties who paid the deposits on behalf of the candidates would be informed of the decision. more..